Escape to the rocky Corsican inlets of Piana
In this glorious late summer period, the tourists have left, and the beautiful island is tranquil once again. It is time for an out of time experience in Southern Corsica. The road winds between dizzyingly high rocky inlets overlooking the waves of the Mediterranean. As you turn a bend, you are sent into raptures by the sight of Piana with its white houses forming an amphitheatre above the Gulf Porto.
At the exit to the village your gaze is drawn to a grand edifice standing in the middle of the landscape. Welcome to Les Roches Rouges Hotel. You immediately fall under the charm of this prettily retro, century-old former luxury hotel. From your rather quaint room, a full frame view of the sea and the Piana cliffs will leave you speechless. You rush onto the panoramic terrace to fully appreciate this spectacular setting.
At dinner time, you head for the romantic ambience of the dining room. The young chef Romain Mariani delights you with a chestnut velouté, red onion tart with pancetta, truffle oil and grilled king prawns, a shellfish emulsion and tagliatelle with cuttlefish ink.
During your stay in this destination untouched by time, you set off on a hike along trails across Piana's rocky inlets, which have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You are blown away by the extravagant shapes of this red rocky world. Warm up on the old mule track of Pina-Ota, between dry-stone walls and dizzying viewpoints, before climbing to the top of the village to cross the beautiful forest of maritime pines which crowns the site. Another winding path, by the sea, and suitable for all fitness levels, leads you to the cove of Ficaghjola, which in former times was Piana's fishing port. You feel yourself being drawn into the lovely waters of this cove with its unspoiled beauty.
Hotel Les Roches Rouges
Route de porto
+(33)04 95 27 81 81
Delicacies and the art of living in San Sebastian
Less than one hour away from Biarritz, the motorway leads you to the Spanish Basque country and its gastronomic capital: San Sebastian. A must-visit destination for any bon vivant, the town, called “Donostia” in Euskara, the Basque language, welcomes you in the warm September light.
Go and admire the beautiful buildings with their wealthy-looking facades lining the bay of la Concha, against the magnificent backdrop of the curve of the Pyrenees. Drop into Real Club Náutico, a superb building in the shape of a boat, and sip a cocktail – in moderation of course – as you watch the bobbing surfers glide over the waves.
Nearby, in the old town, the tapas bars welcome the first poteo participants. You absolutely must try this local custom, rather similar to a British pub crawl, which consists in moving from bar to bar searching for the best pinchos (snacks). San Sebastian amazes gourmets with its tempting tartines and vol-au-vent. On the counters, prawns, octopus, anchovies and cold meats make your mouth water. Wash down this combination of surf and turf flavours with a small glass of Txakoli, a local white wine which is drunk well chilled.
You continue your stroll through these bustling backstreets until night begins to fall. Having eaten like a king, you head back on foot to the sumptuous Maria Cristina Hotel, with its Belle Époque decor.
Real Club Náutico
+34 943 42 35 75
Maria Cristina Hotel
Paseo Republica Argentina
+34 943 43 76 00
Art and architecture in Shanghai
At the end of summer, Shanghai is a great choice for a sunny getaway with moderate temperatures. Your exploration of the cosmopolitan Chinese megalopolis will lead you to the former French Concession area which has become one of trendy Shanghai's essential destinations. Treat yourself to a cosy break in the colonial setting of the Shanghai Mansion Hotel. Succumb to the romantic charm of 1930s China in this luxury establishment, where French architecture mingles with Art Deco style.
You decide next to explore the area on either side of Huahai Road, the epicentre of the most fashionable addresses. This pleasant stroll takes you from architectural gems, such as the Cathay Theatre, to the popular boutiques of Changle Road and Xinle Road. In Shanghai, modern art is booming. The work of the new wave of Chinese talent is exhibited alongside that of renowned international artists.
Your quest for art takes you to West Bund, in the south of the city. All along this cultural corridor, you meet with one surprise after another, in the most dynamic exhibition venues. A visit to the new ShangART Gallery is a must, with its white modular cube which extends and retracts with the different exhibitions. Prints, sculptures and paintings from modern China pass before your gaze.
Finally, you bring your stay to an end with a completely crazy culinary experience. Ultraviolet, the avant-garde restaurant of the French chef Paul Pairet, invites you to come on a sensory journey, in which a succession of sophisticated dishes is served in a disconcerting setting of images, sounds and aromas. All your senses are awakened.
Mansion Hotel Shanghai
No. 82 Xinle Road
+86 400 862 8088
+86 21 6359 3923
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet
Meet at Mr & Mrs Bund's
Bund 18, 6/F
18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
A getaway in trendy Brooklyn
In September temperatures are a little milder in New York. A good time to investigate Brooklyn's new stylish areas, a destination in its own right.
Head for Park Slope, a residential district in vogue. Check into the Le Bleu Hotel, a glamorous boutique hotel located in a glass-walled skyscraper, near Union Street Metro. Its relaxed style is very much in keeping with that of Brooklyn. From your room high up on the 8th floor, the view takes in Manhattan and extends as far as the Statue of Liberty!
You choose next to stroll around Bushwick. This fast-changing industrial area has become the Big Apple's temple of street art. Its decommissioned factories converted into cultural and festival event spaces are home to the highest concentration of artists in the world. You wander past its enormous brick walls on which the best graffiti artists from the city and elsewhere express their unbridled creativity.
Pause for lunch at Roberta's, one of the best pizza restaurants in New York. Inside this revamped former garage, a team of “slow living” enthusiasts concocts delicious pizzas enhanced by local produce grown on the roof of the restaurant.
In the evening, if you want to party, one venue stands out: House of Yes. In this club, you spend a wild night, intoxicated by the DJs' trances, the circus acts, burlesque dancers and magicians…
A trip to the famous Smorgasburg is just the thing to help you recover from this nocturnal exuberance. The largest food market in all of the United States is held on Saturdays, on the banks of the East River in Williamsburg. One hundred or so street vendors tempt you with their specialities from all over the world. You set your sights on an irresistible lobster sandwich to eat on the beach, opposite Manhattan's cinematographic skyline.
Hotel Le Bleu
370 4th Ave,
Brooklyn NY 11215
261 Moore St
Brooklyn NY 11206
House of Yes
2 Wyckoff Ave
Brooklyn NY 11237
90 Kent Ave
Brooklyn NY 11211